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Chocolate Cream Pie

Justine, my new pen pal in San Francisco, recently went gluten-free. We have been corresponding about her quest to find a good gluten free pie crust for the holidays. I have had much fun chatting with Justine via email, enjoying her determination and attention to detail. Justine, here is my take on a flaky gluten-free crust. Please let me know how it turns out.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

  1. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a small bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Pat dough into a 9½-inch glass pie dish
  5. Bake at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown
Chocolate Cream Filling

  • 2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • pinch celtic sea salt
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup agave nectar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks
    1. Bring coconut milk and salt to a boil in a medium pot
    2. Sift arrowroot powder into the pot, whisk vigorously by hand or with a hand blender for 2 minutes
    3. Whisk in agave and vanilla
    4. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute
    5. Add chocolate, stirring vigorously until completely melted
    6. Chill in refrigerator for ½ hour until cool
    7. Place in cooled pie crust
    8. Serve

Serves 12

The idea for this delicious gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cream pie recipe was inspired by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks. Although her recipes are not gluten-free, this site is currently my favorite food blog as I find Heidi’s recipes completely innovative and her photos mouth watering.

The gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan pie crust recipe above can be used, of course, for any pie, not just the chocolate cream pie. Enjoy!

posted on November 21, 2007, 80 comments

  1. Elana-
    I just tried your pie crust to make a strawberry pie (the rest of my family got it with regular crust). I had to use honey instead of agave since I’m at my parents’ house, but it is YUMMY! I made my own “flour” from slivered almonds, but this was terrific! I’ve never liked regular pie crust anyway so I may convert to this one full timje.

  2. Zebe – I so enjoy hearing about all of your experiments and adventures. For me, that’s the whole idea –take the recipes and adapt to the ingredients you have on hand and whatever mood you are in. Way to go :-)


  3. mama4ever


    Could you also use this for quiche? Ever since going gluten free I have missed making quiches.

  4. mama4ever -I think this might work for a quiche, though not entirely sure; if you try it let us know how it goes.


  5. Carol Sawicki

    can I substitute anything else for dagoba chocodrops ?

  6. Hi Carol-

    I enjoy cooking with dagoba chocodrops and use them in all of my recipes that call for chocolate so am not sure what would work best as a substitute; please feel free to experiment with replacement ingredients and let us know how it goes.


  7. Ricci


    Would it be possible to make your recipes printer friendly so they are easier to print.

    Thank You

  8. Ricci,

    Yes! There is a ‘print this post’ text link at the bottom of every recipe on my website.


  9. Sydney

    I am writing in response to the woman who has bladder problems. I soooo used to have that problem and I also know the perfect woman to help her. Please give her my e-mail so I can help her get out of pain!!

  10. Sydney,

    I have forwarded you her email address and hope that the two of you have a productive conversation.


  11. -C

    Could I make this in a glass bowl instead of a pie crust?

  12. What would you say is the next best thing to arrowroot powder for the chocolate cream recipe? Do you do much baking w/ cocoa powder? This is another recipe I’d like to tackle, sounds divine!

  13. -C -I think that might work, though haven’t actually tried it myself, could turn out to be a pudding type dish.

    Stephanie -Arrowroot is my go to thickener, not sure what would work instead. Feel free to experiment, just be sure to let us know your results!

    • Chris Barnes

      I often use egg yolks as my go to thickener for my pies. I just use 6 egg yolks and cook it over a low heat, stirring very frequently until think. Once it starts to thicken, stir constantly until it is almost a pudding texture, chill until set.

  14. Shannon

    To Stephanie:

    I know that an equal amount of cornstarch to arrowroot powder works as a substitute, however, I use arrowroot to replace cornstarch in all recipes since I find that I am intolerant to corn. Also I am eerie about all of the possible additives used in cornstarch and have heard negatives things about it’s effect on our health, especially those who are more sensitive. If you’re fine, maybe give it a try!

  15. Shannon,

    Thanks so much for the tips!


  16. Tammy

    Elana, I really appreciate the work you do on this blog, and your patience at all the recipe-adapting questions! I believe you recently changed the way you refer to chocolate (removing references to Dagoba chips and substituting the phrase “dark chocolate 73%”), but now it doesn’t sound right. Could you possibly weigh it and convert it to ounces? 2 cups of Dagoba chips = how many ounces of regular unsweetened baking chocolate? If I recall correctly, I think a cup of regular semisweet chocolate chips is about 6 oz. on the scale. That could mean this recipe uses 12 one-oz. squares or 1 1/2 boxes of Baker’s unsweetened baking chocolate. Am I right? I would love to try this recipe, it looks wonderful.


  17. Laney

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! I almost didn’t bring it to the gathering becuase I goofed and didn’t sift the arrowroot powder, so it was all lumpy. I decided not to be embarassed and brought it anyway, turns out I saved the day for a few people who keep Kosher and couldn’t eat any of the other desserts- they loved it! Some even thought the lumps were little tapioca balls;)Thank you for your wonderful recipes! I tell everyone about your website!

  18. Tammy -I think that’s a good idea, though am a little concerned that some people might be confused by the weight instruction…I’m going to mull over your suggestion before I make any more changes. Thanks so much!

    Laney -What a great story. I’m so glad you made this and took it to the dinner even though it wasn’t perfect. Good for you!

  19. Yael

    Are Arrowroot Powder and Arrowroot Flour the same thing?

  20. Yael,

    As far as I know arrowroot powder and arrowroot flour are the same thing –however, it is always important to check and see what your ingredients are made of by calling the manufacturer if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant.


  21. Arlene

    Elana – Thanks so much for creating this blog and all the recipes in your pantry! I’m recently diagnosed as having a gluten allergy and I thought I would have to make my own recipes, but then I found your blog. With your help I’m ready to bake!

    I’m wondering how milk substitutes for coconut milk? I used to be intolerant of dairy but I’m not anymore, special thanks to God for the help there. Can I try your recipes with milk when you call for coconut milk or would there be too many differences in those two products?

  22. Jeremy

    Elana – I love your recipes.
    Just wondering if you thought I could use this crust for a pumpkin Pie?

  23. I had never heard of dagoba chocodrops until reading in your site (as well as cooking with kudzu or blanched almond flour as opposed to almond flour). I wondered how regular GFCF chocolate chips would work in this recipe? I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips and they are very tiny so I often use less than most recipes call for as most recipes call for a much larger chip. Is the dagoba chip normal or mini-sized? I guess if I knew about the weight of 2 cups dagoba I could sub equal weight of my mini-sized chips. I hate to experiment with such expensive ingredients until I better understand their function and interaction in the recipe. Can’t wait to make this!

  24. Maeve

    I made this yesterday with a number of changes and substitutions.

    For the crust, I used only half the agave and a combination of toasted hazelnut oil and grapeseed. I also added about half a teaspoon of good cinnamon and a little more than half a teaspoon of instant espresso (little granules).

    For the filling, I couldn’t find the Dagoba chocodrops, and besides, they have sugar in them, which I can’t tolerate. I used six blocks of unsweetened baker’s chocolate and about 3/4s of a bar of Green and Black’s baking chocolate (72% with added cocoa butter). I only added probably 1/3 cup of agave. Everything else went according to recipe.

    Mind you, I can’t eat refined sugar, and don’t sweeten most of my things at all (I’ve only recently learned I can tolerate agave). But it is sweet enough for me the way I made it. I could probably cut the agave to 1/4 cup and add a smidge of stevia. I’m using raw, dark agave, and it’s important to the flavor (as opposed to using only stevia) because it gives it a full roundness (I find stevia very flat tasting).

    It set up perfectly and cuts nicely.

    Also, I didn’t have a good glass pie dish. I used one of the “large” cheapy pie tins you can get from the store, and it was just fine. I do suspect the glass would have made the crust better, but I didn’t have the resources, sadly.

    The amount of chocolate I used pretty much entirely eclipses the taste of the coconut milk. My coconut averse husband pronounced this pie completely fabulous. :)

    If you wanted a more milk chocolate taste, rather than dark chocolate, I’d say start out with four squares of baking chocolate and go from there.

  25. kelli

    can you make the filling in a blender? I have a blendtec and with 3 small kids in toe I am looking for the fastest recipes possible. thanks

  26. Elissa

    I sort of made this the other day, with some necessary variations and it turned out amazing! – completely different really, but I love my accidents. I used a buckwheat chocolate crust and raw organic cacao nibs. Then I ended up freezing it for a few hours in the prebaked crust and in place of chocolate. Surprisingly it tasted like cookies and cream cheesecake (to me anyway) from the good old days (when I was unwittingly poisoning myself)
    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe when I have all the ingredients on hand. Bought your book – amazing – so much to try! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us!

  27. Sunny

    Dear Elana,
    I love your recipes because they are GF and usually don’t contain refined sugar. However the 73% cocoa bars do.

    I can mix unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut oil and agave but not sure how much to use to equal 12 ounces. If you or anyone else out there knows how to convert I would be deeply thankful.
    The Hershey conversion would be 2 cups of cocoa powder that seems like too much. Please help.

    From Hershey cocoa box 3 TBS Cocoa plus 1 TBS oil or shortening = 1 oz of baking chocolate
    1TBS cocoa + 2 teasp shortening or oil + 3.5 teasp sugar = 1 oz semi sweet baking chocolate

    I watched “The World according to Monsanto and Food Inc” and I have started a minimum of one year doing my best to eat organically and avoid GMO’s, corn, gluten, potatoes (any of the whites – refined and or any white or artificial sugar xylitol was made from birch trees but now is made from corn, -(Agave, honey, stevia ok), salt – (I’m using Himalayan pink salt only), white flours, and soy and most animal products. I eat grass fed eggs and pacific water shellfish occasionally.

    Salt and sugar and corn and soy hidden everywhere. They even use soy lecithin in tea bags. I don’t know why one would need to emulsify tea. Gotta read the labels.

    I am outraged at what Monsanto has done to our food supply and our legislators for not requiring labelling. My friend can eat non GMO soy but is highly allergic to the GMO soy. BTW I was told all or most soy, wheat, corn and bovine products in the USA have been tampered with along with tomato paste. Do you have any tips or references to find out how to tell the difference in tampered foods or true organics?

    I am delighted to read your recipes and I don’t feel deprived at all. I would love to find more recipes that don’t have the above no no’s. I read your substitute page but did not find sugar or chocolate conversions.

    I would also like permission to link to your recipes. I am journaling my experience and hope to publish it at some point.
    Many blessings,

  28. Emily

    This recipe is fabulous. I only made the cream (I used my own pie crust recipe), but it was absolutely to die for. I made it for my sis-in-law who has been unable to eat anything with gluten, dairy, sugar, potato, corn, and several other things for over a month. She very nearly cried when she tried it. And my kids (who are GFCF) loved eating all of the extra chocolate cream that didn’t fit in the crust. Thank you for creating such a wonderful recipe!

  29. Elana-

    First, I love your site. I follow the Paleo lifestyle and your recipes have really helped me to stay on track. I made this with some adjustments for my diet. The crust was just ground pecans and coconut oil, formed and chilled. I used almond milk instead of coconut and I switched the dark chocolate for carob and cocoa powder. The result was a super rich delicious dessert. The only issue that I encountered is that the pie wouldn’t set in the fridge. I ended up freezing the pie (super tasty). Do you think if I up the arrowroot to 1/3 c, it will help set or even just switch to coconut milk? Thank you again so much for your wonderful recipes!


  30. Tasha Enright

    Good morning Elana…

    I wanted to just say thank you for your wonderful recipes and nutritional insights, it is an emotional one because I have finally found a delicious resource that fits into every one of my loved ones needs…my mother is a celiac, it almost killed her 2 years ago before they finally figured out what was wrong with her…my son, who is 2, is a vegetarian by choice and finding sources of protein he will eat is challenging at times…my daughter, who is 1, has a milk sensitivity…I myself have been trying to get my weight under control after 8 years…and my husband, who is pretty healthy overall, has a big sweet tooth that gives him unhealthy cravings.

    I have been going gluten free for the past month or so and have been trying my hand at baking, to some success, but my husband always complained of the aftertaste of the gluten free products…until now!

    I made this pie for him Friday night and he loved it! Everything I’ve made of yours has been received to rave reviews by my kiddos, husband and mom. It is so nice to have 1 recipe that fits everyone’s dietary needs and still tastes so decadent, delicious and homemade.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t wait to utilize your foundation of baking (agave, almond flour and grapeseed oil) and use it in our family’s recipes and goodies. Blessings to you and yours!

    PS I also live in Colorado and love that I don’t have to mess around with high altitude conversions in my baking :)

  31. Just finished baking the crust and the chocolate filling is cooling… can’t wait to put it all together! My house smells amazing!

  32. Kristen

    Hi Elana,
    I made this recipe yesterday for my book club girls. (We read The Help, so the chocolate pie was a critical part of the dinner!) Everyone loved the pie, although it was really rich. I think the chocolate might have been a bit intense since I broke up a bittersweet chocolate bar into the 2 cups ad maybe it was too much. I also crushed up gluten-free oreo-style cookies for the crust. Thanks for all the delicious recipes on your site!!

  33. Jason

    I could only find coconut cream so I used it instead of coconut milk. After cooling the filling for 30 minutes, I poured it into the crust and then set the entire pie in the fridge to set. The pie turned out to be delightfully rich!

  34. Kristin

    Hi Elana: If I use this crust for a fruit pie, would I need to cook the crust first? Thanks so much for your recipes and commitment! I need a dairy free crust that is high in protein for a cherry pie!

  35. Jennie

    I have tried this recipe 2 times without success. Tie piecrust is awesome, I even used it in a quiche that was really yummy. But the cream filling? I cant get it to work right.
    The 1st time I read the recipe 2 cans of coconut milk (14 ounces) I thought that it meant 28 ounces TOTAL…. I only had cocnonut milk in the carton.. it turned out too runny. Then I tried it the 2nd time with 1 14 ounce can of cocnut milk thinking the 14 ounces was the TOTAL amount of milk. Too thick.. it tates good but it didnt seem to have enough filling for a 9″ pie plate either.
    help???? Is it 2 cans of milk-14 ounces each? Or 2 cans of milk-14 ounces total??


  36. wow! some seriously great recipes here. I’m a newbee to cooking a newbee to gluten-free. I’ll favourite your site

  37. Mary Lou Davies

    Is unflavored gelatine gluten-free?

  38. Carol

    Hi Elana,
    Every time I make the gluten free chocolate pie, there are gelatin like bubbles even after I have sifted the arrowroot. blended by hand blender, added the chocolate and chilled the mixture. I stir and whisk, which can cause bubbles, but take away most of them. What might I be doing incorrectly? Also, I might have missed the area where you recommend brands of blanched almond flour. Could you please give me this info?

    Thanks, I love your website and recipes.


    • Hi Carol,

      Are they bubbles or lumps? If they’re bubbles there’s probably not much we can do about that, it’s just air. If they’re lumps then you would just need to whisk even more vigorously.

      In terms of the brands of almond flour that I recommend, just click on the green words “almond flour” in any recipe and they are linked so that you will be taken to a source where you can purchase the type I recommend. Hope this helps and please let me know how it goes :-)


  39. Shiri Weizman

    Hi Elana,
    I would like to make this pie for thanksgiving tomorrow for my son who is GFCF – but I don’t have grapeseed oil, can I substitute it with another oil? Do you think Coconut oil would work?

  40. Shiri Weizman

    Btw, your I love your recipes and so does my very picky 4 yr old!

  41. Inanna Baskan

    Thank you for providing a recipe that contains no gluten, no corn, no milk, no sugar. This pie crust is something I could actually EAT.

  42. Inanna Baskan

    Thank you for a pie crust recipe that omits ALL the problem ingredients. I should be able to actually EAT this one.

  43. Laura rechtfertig

    I can’t get the arrowroot to not clump. I beat with an elec mixer, by hand….stii lumpy. What am I doin wrong?


  44. Jen

    Am I really supposed to use 2 Tablespoons of vanilla?

  45. Devon

    Hi Elana,
    I’m thinking about making this with matzah meal (my own ground) instead of the arrowroot. Have you heard of anyone doing that? thanks!

  46. Annette

    Just wanted to say I need to buy more almond flour because I am making too many of your recipes! (And I can’t be bothered making more of my own, which I have been doing so far but I appear to be using almond flour at a much quicker rate than anticipated) I’m not a celiac but find that your recipes taste great and satisfy my sweet tooth without making me feel sick afterwards.

    I only tried the crust for a lemon curd pie I was making, and thought it looked a bit moist in comparison to normal pie pastry – is it meant to? Anyway, I ended up using twice as much almond flour. It tasted great but I think adding in too much almond flour meant I should have baked it for longer before filling.

    Anyway, thanks for the recipe!

  47. We have made this pie twice now and LOVE it! Thanks for making a recipe that is gluten and dairy, plus taste great!!!!

  48. Sarah

    OH MY GOSH, this pie is excellent! It’s not too sweet but certainly not bland. It’s perfectly creamy–I love it! We’ll be making this one again.

  49. Question could I use coconut flour instead? Also could I use coconut oil instead of grape seed oil? Thanks

  50. Dear wonderful Elana , I foll ow all of your recipes, particularly baking, religiously. Ive made close to 100 of your creations. This is one of my favorites and the most delicious pie ever. Thank you. http://www.elanaspantry.com/chocolate-cream-pie/

  51. Joanie Shubin

    Have you tried this recipe using lite coconut milk? Do you think it would change the consistency?

  52. Kymberley

    So far, three of your recipes made and three recipes have passed the ‘husband test’ – you’re recipes are a winner! I’m wheat intolerant so to make it easier I just avoid gluten, and to find recipes for cake, cookie and dessert substitutes that are easy, delicious AND my husband also loves is fantastic :) Thank you so much!

  53. Michael

    I love to Bake and cook. Recently I have been changing the way I eat. Baking has been the biggest challenge as vegan and gluten free is a lot different from my old habits of baking. I found your site and have tried several recipes, including this one. I am impressed with the results. Thank you for sharing this as its really nice for people to share what has worked for them.

  54. Jennifer

    I made dairy free chocolate mousse the other day by using coconut cream, agave (or stevia) and unsweetened chocolate powder. The key is to putting the coconut cream in the fridge to get cold first, then whisking vigorously (I used my kitchen aid) with the other ingredients. I then put in the fridge (covered) to set for 30 min and it was very thick and DELICIOUS. I am excited to try this recipe as well. Thanks for all your great recipes Elana – you are a lifesaver.

  55. Jen Springer @ jenspringer.com

    Anyone got any tricks so the crust doesn’t stick to the Pyrex pie plate?

    I made this pie crust with Elana’s pumpkin pie recipe from her book and it is amazing. Just wondering about non-stick tricks!


    • Sylvia

      Me too but my crust burnt black! I followed the recipes completely. The only thing I did differently was I used a ceramic pie plate not glass……would that make a difference???

  56. Lydia

    Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe. My dear friend loves the combination of chocolate and cinnamon so I added 2 teaspoons of cinnamon after adding the vanilla. It was divine!

  57. Jessica

    Elana, I have your cookbook.. I am looking for a sweet ginger-snappy pie crust for a pumpkin pie.. any ideas on how this pie crust could be modified for that flavor? Thanks!

  58. Julie Esta @ julieesta.tsfl.com

    This recipe is AMAZING!!! My 6 yr old is using the filling to dip her apples in as a mock nutella! Thx Elana!! I love all of ur recipes!

  59. Ann McArthur

    I made the Chocolate Cream Pie recipe for Christmas dinner and, while it was very good, I was forced to put it in the freezer because it would not get firm. I followed the recipe exactly so I was wondering if anyone else had this problem.

  60. Kelli

    I made your chocolate cream pie for Easter and it was so delicious! When I was making it, I couldn’t help myself and tasted the “cream” before adding the chocolate and I thought it tasted similar to coconut cream and was wondering if you’ve adapted the recipe for a coconut cream pie and if so, would you mind sharing? My husband and dad both love coconut cream pie. Thanks!

  61. Amy

    Important note: if you have to substitute cornstarch for the arrowroot powder, reserve a little coconut milk (cold or room temp) to mix it into *before* adding to the hot coconut milk. Otherwise, it will glob together and not thicken the mixture.

    GREAT recipe!!!

  62. c

    it tasted wonderful. made a strawberry pie, it did fall apart. But the taste made up for the lack of pie perfect presentation!

  63. Heather

    Just curious, is it just the fatty part from the canned coconut milk, or the whole can?

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  65. Nancy

    made this pie this morning and its 5:30pm and its like pudding. what did I do wrong. followed the directions to a T

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top